Editor’s note: Today’s post is a Q&A with Brijesh Bharadwaj, Growth and User-facing products lead at Dunzo, on how they’re using the On-demand Rides & Deliveries solution in Google Maps Platform. Dunzo is a local e-commerce platform in India on a mission to deliver convenience, choice, and control to everyday living. The On Demand Rides & Deliveries solution has helped Dunzo deliver transformational order fulfilment experiences for Delivery Partner and consumers.
What is your role at Dunzo?
At Dunzo, I currently lead growth and all user-facing products. As a three-sided platform, I have also spent a significant amount of time understanding the problems on the delivery partner side and designing solutions to optimize and improve on their experience. On a daily basis, I spend a lot of time refining Dunzo’s value proposition to our customers and driving step jumps in activation and retention.
Tell us about the history of Dunzo—how has the company grown over time and what are you focused on delivering today?
Dunzo is a local e-commerce platform on a mission to deliver convenience, choice, and control to everyday living. Working closely with Users, local Merchants, and Delivery Partner, Dunzo allows for Users to have a selection of all items in their city in one place—from consumables to pet supplies.
There are multiple hyperlocal delivery services in India. While most are vertically focused on categories such as food, Dunzo is more horizontal in nature, catering to a wide selection of services and goods. Building an exceptional experience on how those orders reach Users is what we’re extremely passionate about. That includes everything from order tracking, delivery turnaround times, product selection, and several other factors that bake in a great experience for Users.
What are some challenges that Dunzo brought to Google Maps Platform and what are some of the challenges that you looked to solve with the On-demand Rides & Deliveries solution?
Location reliability & scaling a custom built solution
Our initial challenge was we had our own custom built solution for orders getting tracked in real-time. We realized that getting the location sync right for two-wheelers is a hard problem, especially in India where there are constant network drops and dead zones. This would lead to the Delivery Partner movements being less than optimal. We would receive support tickets indicating the delivery partner was not moving, but in reality the delivery partner was actually moving, and the technology had actually lost sync with what was happening on the ground. We knew there must be an out-of-the box solution that existed for these challenges, which led us to discussions with the Google Maps Platform team.
Plug and play trip & order tracking experience
We’ve been working with Google Maps Platform on the delivery side since the On Demand Rides & Delivery solution was in Beta. Early on we realized we needed to connect both the Delivery Partner interface and the User interface—that’s when the solution is actually complete. Trip & Order Progress is exactly what we were looking for. We could just plug and play the entire order tracking capability and could be ready to go live in no time. As a result of the integration, support tickets around Delivery Partner tracking have reduced by 90%.
Contextual delivery location searches
Another important area where the solution was integral has been for location searches on the user app. In the past there were a couple of instances where Delivery Partners were not able to find a User’s delivery location. That’s largely due the mapping system in India where not all addresses are logged or follow a standard nomenclature. Some locations still continue to pose problems. But using Place Details API has allowed us to extract more contextual data, like the building name which we were not getting before. Our data shows that Delivery Partners are better at recognizing the names of buildings versus street names or pin codes as those are not clearly marked in the offline world. Thanks to this, there was a 9.3% reduction in location related support tickets.
Reliable real-time arrival prediction
We also worked on the estimated times of arrival (ETA). Earlier, we used to commit to a delivery time before the User placed an order using our own custom logic. But because there were several factors that go into predicting commute time on Indian roads, we were finding it very difficult to do with the limited data we had available to us. With the Directions API we could get commute times based on real-time traffic and road conditions which gave a much better ETA to the User. Our missed ETA commitment post this change went down by 14%.
What capabilities are you using within the On-demand Rides & Deliveries solution?
Dunzo currently leverages several products and features from the solution as well as other Google Maps Platform products. We use In-app Navigation for turn-by-turn guidance for our driver partners right in our app and optimized for 2-wheeler routes. We’ve been able to show Users the status of their order in real time along with accurate ETAs through Trip & Order progress. And we’ve used Reverse Geocoding and Routes APIs, to help predict delivery ETAs and help inform the price our Users pay. We have particularly enjoyed some of the recent data improvements around mapping of complex compounds, which are historically a challenge for mapping providers.
The pricing has been one of the most impressive things. Getting away from having to worry about every individual API call and the cost associated has been very liberating to be able to focus on building the best experiences for our Users and Delivery Partner.
What does the future of the partnership with Google Maps Platform look like and Google more broadly?
Hyperlocal delivery, while prevalent, is also nascent in many ways. For Dunzo, differentiation will lie in how we deploy technology to build a great customer experience. Having a partner like Google gives us greater insights into how to build a customer-first product. Whether it’s in ensuring that we can reduce delivery turnaround times at scale or create an engine that provides seamless allocation, there is so much more to be done.
The Google Maps Platform team made sure we had a really great experience … it’s been really fun to get this out and see this have an impact on our customers and also give us a lot of free bandwidth available to do more for our customers.
What’s next for Dunzo and how can Google Maps Platform help?
The future of logistics is a bright one as there are more and more ways to understand mapping every day. With 3D mapping, the potential for optimizing pick up and drop locations is going to be the game changer for services like Dunzo. We hope to leverage Google’s research in this area to map our cities better and help Users get whatever they want or need in the fastest and most efficient way possible. We are also eager to see how Google Maps Platform takes on local nuances such as multiple entry gates, roadblocks, detours, parking limitations and other aspects that can affect the delivery experience and speed in the offline world.
For more information on Google Maps Platform, visit our website.
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